Mahindra North America is taking a “deep dive” into the ratings recently released in the 2017 Equipment Dealers Assn.’s Dealer-Manufacturer Relations Survey, according to Cleo Franklin, chief marketing officer and vice president of strategic planning and business development
“We continue to work closely with our dealer advisory council to strengthen our two-way dialogue about the statistics in the survey,” Franklin says.
In particular, they evaluate rankings based on total overall satisfaction. Mahindra ranked 5th in overall satisfaction among the 10 tractor manufacturers. When evaluating Mahindra’s total scores against other tractor manufacturers across 12 categories, including overall satisfaction, Mahindra placed 6th out of 10 tractor manufacturers.
However, it rated number 1 in the category of marketing and advertising support in the 2017 survey, ranking higher than that of LS Tractor, which earned the 2017 Dealer’s Choice award.
Looking at a 3-year trend, Mahindra has declined in 10 of 12 categories, with its biggest decline in communications with management.
Franklin says, “We take the EDA survey very seriously. We also do our own in-depth dealer satisfaction survey along with working with our dealer advisory council. These are critical feedback points to gain visibility and improve communication and responsiveness.”
He says declines in the categories of communications with management and manufacturer response to dealer needs/concerns have a strong correlation with dealers’ overall satisfaction with the company.
“You have to address those areas first. We’ve increased our ability for dealers to communicate with us because that becomes the driver of everything else in the survey,” he says.
The company has doubled the size of its dealer advisory council to 22 members and added regional and local dealer meetings. The company will also soon implement improvements to its tractor ordering system to improve dealer visibility from order to ship date. Franklin says Mahindra has also increased resources across many functions, including service, product development, dealer development, parts, sales and marketing.
The declines come during a time when Mahindra has experienced significant growth. Franklin says the company’s revenue has increased 5 times over 6 years ago. “We’ve nearly tripled our market share. No one else has had that kind of growth in our industry. Our growth has brought us challenges and opportunities. We’ve taken steps to sustain that growth — which begins and ends with our dealers,” Franklin says.
Looking ahead, Franklin says Mahindra’s product development will include efforts to incorporate innovation to make its equipment easier to use and operate. He also hints that there will be significant product introductions at the company’s upcoming national dealer meeting, set for Oct. 4-7 in Indianapolis.
“Our 2017 national dealer meeting is going to be an exciting meeting for our dealer network in terms of the areas that concern them the most. There will be new products and services, technology and support to provide additional revenue streams to expand their reach,” he says.